“Hello Japan!” mini-challenge, and other things Japan

October 10, 2009 § 6 Comments

hellojapanI’ve been meaning to join in this challenge for a while now, but have only found the time today to post about it.

Hello Japan! is hosted by Tanabata of In Spring it is the Dawn, and is a monthly mini-challenge about all things related to Japan. In a way, it is like an aperture, a viewport from which we could learn more about this little country and its culture.

This month, the challenge is:

..to read or watch something scary, spooky or suspenseful.

Tanabata also very kindly provides us with a list of possibilities. I was ecstatic when I saw Death Note in the list, because I’ve been wanting to re-watch the anime for a while now, and this challenge provides me with just the reason (or excuse!) to watch it again despite my horrifying pile of things to do for uni.

Death Note is about a high school boy, Raito, who finds a notebook that belongs to a Death God. In this book, if a person’s name is written in it while the writer thinks of the person’s face, the said person will die. There are twists and turns in this story, because as it turns out, the police are becoming very suspicious of the unexplainable multiple deaths. And in the centre of these investigations is another high-school boy, only known as L. It is a battle of wits between the two of them, making for a very gripping story.

I remember absolutely loving this anime of 37 episodes. But I’m confident that now, watching it for a second time, there will be new things that I will discover, small details that I never really picked up when I watched it initially.

I look forward to posting my thoughts on this anime soon.


jlitbookgroup jlitread-along

The Japanese Literature Book Group and Read-Along are also hosted by Tanabata. I think it’s awesome that we’re getting this opportunity to explore so much of a country and culture that I’m really interested in, and I’m really glad I found out about them.

The Japanese Literature Book Group is a bi-monthly thing, where we will be discussing the book on the last Monday of the month. For the months of October and November, the book group is doing The Old Capital. Mark David from Absorbed in Words has a stunning review of this book, and I’m more than ready to read the book now, especially when there will be discussions about it.

Sometimes, discussing a book and what it meant to you, and finding out what others thought about it and hearing their take on the same story, is every bit as exciting and enlightening as reading the book itself. So I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Book Group.


As for the Japanese Literature Read-along, it is for selected titles that are longer than the average Japanese novel, perhaps a little daunting for some of us. The first book in this read-along is I Am a Cat. I’m not too sure how involved I can be in this read-along, simply because it’s my final semester at uni, and time is really a luxury these days. But I would definitely try my very best. Especially because this takes place over three months.


So yay! for all things Japan!


§ 6 Responses to “Hello Japan!” mini-challenge, and other things Japan

  • Mark David says:

    Yey! You’re joining! We’ll have wonderful discussions in the book group and in the other activities πŸ™‚ Oh I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about The Old Capital. It’s one of my very best reads this year.

    You’re right, thick books can be daunting to read, but you’re a fast reader so I suppose you can manage to join the Read-along for I Am A Cat πŸ™‚ I want to join to so I’ll have to start looking for the book.

  • su says:

    @ Mark David: I can’t wait to read The Old Capital, you make it sound so lovely. And I’m looking forward to reading what other people think about it too. And yes, do join the Read-along. I’d be interested to read your take on I Am A Cat.

  • Susan says:

    Su, I will not join any other challenges at this point in time, but I have been enjoying reading Japanese literature recently. Thanks to Dolce Bellezza’s third Japanese challenge, I have finally read some works by Japanese authors, Banana Yoshimoto and Natsuo Kirino.

  • su says:

    @ Susan: I completely understand why you won’t be joining any other challenges. I was contemplating about joining the China Challenge the other day, but I tied my hands behind my back and said to myself, “Now, Michelle. It’s not like you’ll have the time!”

    But yes, I completely agree with you. Many many thanks to Bellezza for hosting such an awesome challenge.

  • tanabata says:

    I’m so glad you’ll be reading The Old Capital with us, and participating in the Hello Japan! mini-challenge. You can always catch up with I Am a Cat in the new year, if you’d like. πŸ™‚
    I haven’t read (or watched) Death Note yet but it’s so well known I think I probably will at some point. Have you seen the live action movies?

  • su says:

    @ tanabata: Death Note is definitely worth it. It was the first anime that got me hooked, so that’s saying a lot. But I haven’t watched the live action movies though. I’m kind of still weighing the odds. It’s quite tough, having such high expectations, and I’m afraid of being let down actually..

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